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Ex-Teacher Charged with Rape Didn't Teach in Mehlville

The suspect, Donald Ingerson, worked as a high school teacher at five or six school districts in St. Louis County, but was not employed by the Mehlville School District.

Updated Wednesday at 1:30 p.m. and Thursday at 12 p.m.

A former St. Louis County high school teacher suspected of raping a student in the mid-1970s apparently approached police because he thought he could not be charged in the case, Prosecuting Attorney Bob McCulloch said.

Donald Ingerson, 67, is charged with one count of rape and one count of second-degree statutory sodomy.

He taught at five or six school districts in St. Louis County beginning in the 1960s and continuing into the 1990s, McCulloch said Tuesday during a news conference at the  in Clayton. McCulloch declined to identify the districts, though he said districts where the suspect worked have been notified and asked to contact police should additional victims come forward.

The Mehlville School District had not been contacted as an employer of Ingerson, Director of Communications John Wolff said. 

Ingerson does appear in the W. F. Gaunt School yearbook from 1975.

In 1975, the Gaunt School was a ninth-grade center for Affton School District students. The school was located at 8520 Mackenzie Road, where the Village at Mackenzie Place is now.

Affton-Shrewsbury Patch recieved a copy of the yearbook page from Anne Badalamenti, who attended Gaunt at that time.

"We were all like, 'Oh, ya, we remember that guy,'" Badalamenti said. She and her friends were discussing Ingerson's arrest on Facebook, where she says several of her friends remember Ingerson as a long haired man who was rumored to have had "affairs" with students.

The Affton School District has not yet confirmed Ingerson's employment, but the human resources department is searching through microfiche records from those years to see if Ingerson worked in Affton.

Superintendent Steve Brotherton said he had heard from a former employee of the district who recognised Ingerson from working at Affton schools.

Ingerson is listed in the 1975 yearbook as being the physical science teacher. Badalamenti and her friends say the remember him coaching the freshman football and wrestling teams.

Rockwood School District Chief Communications Officer Kim Cranston confirmed for Patch that Ingerson was employed as a science teacher at  in  from 1969-1971. During that time he also served as an assistant coach for football, wrestling, baseball, track and field.

The  also employed Ingerson from 1976 until 1981, Communications Director Shantana Stewart said. 

"He taught biology and coached football and wrestling at University City High School," she said. "We received no reports of him having inappropriate contact with students during his tenure here."

Two victims, both students at the time of the incidents, have been identified so far, though McCulloch said his work in similar cases leads him to think there are others. Ingerson is suspected of having had multiple sexual encounters with both, McCulloch said, the first between September 1974 and January 1976, and the second between Jan. 1, 1995 and Nov. 17, 1996.

McCulloch said he thinks the encounters happened at different locations outside of school grounds.

In early June, Ingerson called the  to say he had something to discuss, McCulloch said. He spoke with investigators.

Ingerson, who lives in Ely, MN, near the Canadian border, arrived in St. Louis on Sunday and repeated statements about the sexual encounters to police on Monday, McCulloch said. At that time Ingerson was arrested.

Ingerson did not appear to realize that the statute of limitations had not expired, McCulloch said.

Both victims have been contacted and have been cooperative. Police previously had not heard of either the victims or Ingerson, McCulloch said. 

Ingerson moved to Minnesota sometime after he retired from teaching and is being held in the St. Louis County Jail on a $300,000 cash-only bond.

People who think they might have been victims of a sexual crime are asked to call St. Louis County detectives at 314-880-2341.

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